We’ve all heard about the problems caused by the introduction of Universal Credit. Now we’re taking action to help our members navigate through its minefield. We’ve launched a new pilot, together with Shelter, to provide one-to-one support to our members in relation to their Universal Credit claims.
It’s all part of our aim here at The Bread and Butter Thing to make life more affordable for people struggling to get by. Time and again, we hear from our members how difficult that can be so, since we began in 2016, we’ve been developing our model to provide more services to our members in the heart of their communities.
The transition to Universal Credit can create huge disruption in day to day budgeting for people who are already struggling. Moving over from weekly benefits to four- to five-week Universal Credit payments creates a wealth of problems financially and emotionally.
The pilot of the service launched with our community hub Inspire Levenshulme. Inspire is a multicultural community centre in a deprived area of Manchester. We have worked with the team at Inspire and The Inspired Taskforce since 2017.
The service has been warmly received in Inspire since its launch in December 2018. The next step for the pilot is to develop the offer within one of the schools we work with in Longsight to support the parents of the children in school.
Carol, a TBBT member from Levenshulme said that she uses the service as she “did work for a long time and due to ill health has found that she needs to claim Employment Support Allowance.”
She said: “it can be very difficult to understand the process and all the forms for benefit entitlement. Shelter are incredibly helpful, they spend time explaining things and writing thing down so that I can understand them”.
Jane Partington from TBBT said:
“We see our role as bringing help and support into a space our members see as their own; it’s familiar and trusted. In addition, we ensure the services we introduce are of a high quality and can be reliably and consistently provided.
We’re thrilled that Shelter are working with us developing this pilot and are looking forward to growing the service across all of our Manchester hubs.”
Lauren Edwards, Advice Service Manager from Shelter said:
“Shelter are pleased to be running a trial with Bread and Butter Thing members where we provide specialist housing and welfare benefits advice at the time of the Bread and Butter delivery. By bringing our services to the community we hope we can make it easier for people to get the support they need.”
Mark Game from TBBT said: